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San Mateo Medical Center notifies patients after records erroneously recycled instead of shredded

The San Mateo Medical Center has notified 5,000 patients at its Daly City Medical Center location of a breach.

A November 30 notice on its web site explains that SMMC became aware on November 7, 2018 that on November 6, a

staff person at the Daly City Clinic left a box containing patient information under her desk overnight. The temporary housekeeping staff mistook the box for recycling and put the documents in the recycling bin and not the confidential bin for shredding.

SMMC was unable to determine whose records were in the bin, and so wound up notifying 5,000 patients.

In response to the incident, SMMC reinforced their policies about records to be shredded and eliminated the use of recycling bins altogether:

We regret that this incident occurred, and are reinforcing our policy that medical staff should place all documents with patient information in the confidential bin for shredding and not leave documents with patient information out overnight. A clinic site visit...(continued)
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